Established under the Post-secondary Learning Act, the Board manages and operates the post-secondary institution within its approved mandate.
Grande Prairie Regional College is a public, board-governed college operating as a comprehensive community institution under the Post-secondary Learning Act of Alberta. The College offers regional learners instruction and support services that are learner-centred and responsive to the lifelong educational needs of full-time and part-time students of diverse, multicultural and Aboriginal backgrounds.
Natalia Reiman was raised on a farm near Wanham, Alberta and attended Eaglesham School from Kindergarten through Grade 12. She went on to attend the University of Montevallo in Alabama on a golf scholarship. Natalia completed her Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology while on an academic and golf scholarship at the Florida Institute of Technology. She returned to Canada and obtained her Law Degree from the University of Alberta in 2009. Following graduation Natalia returned to Grande Prairie to complete her articles of clerkship and continues to practice in Grande Prairie at the law office of Rigler & Reiman, Barristers & Solicitors. Over the course of her studies; Natalia was a member of numerous organizations including the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Forensic Psychology Students Association and completed her undergraduate degree as captain of the varsity golf team. She was also a member of the Theta Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi holding numerous positions including Treasurer and member of the Executive Board.
Since returning to Grande Prairie she has been the Treasurer of the Grande Prairie Bar Association, volunteered with the Rainbow Society of Alberta, and Grande Prairie Legal Guidance and assists in the junior golf program at Chinook Valley Golf Course. Natalia holds education in high regard, and she is excited to bring her passion for education to the GPRC Board of Governors. She believes the growth and development of our community and the Peace Region is positively influenced by a strong post-secondary institution. She is eager to work with GPRC and the opportunities for the region that will result in the coming years.
Scott Roessler, Vice-Chair
First Term - Appointed until December 12, 2019
Scott Roessler was raised on a farm north of Grande Prairie and attended elementary and secondary school in Sexsmith, Alberta. Both Scott and his wife, Amanda, have attended GPRC and accessed the College’s university transfer program to obtain their degrees at the University of Alberta. They are also proud parents of two lively young boys, Jesse and Jordan, and spend much of their winter months chasing minor hockey teams around the Peace Region.
Scott has nearly 20 years of experience in the professional service industry as a Civil Engineer, and is the owner of three Grande Prairie-based businesses. Scott is very active in the community and serves as an active Rotarian with the Swan City Rotary Club. He remains connected with the College through seminars with the Engineering program and assisted with the inception of the Pipestone Creek dinosaur project which became the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. Scott has served on local minor hockey boards and continues to coach at various levels throughout the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association.
Scott acts as Director at Helix Engineering and Helix Surveys within the Land Development and Municipal Engineering fields in Grande Prairie and the region. Scott and his partners pride themselves in their commitment to the local community and are avid supporters of GPRC. It is his belief that a solid educational institution is paramount to the success of not only a growing city, but the entire region it serves. Scott is excited to serve on the GPRC Board of Governors with such strong community members and will advocate both professionally and fairly in the best interests of GPRC.
Don Gnatiuk, President & CEO
Don Gnatiuk and his wife JoAnn made Grande Prairie their home when Don joined Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) as President and CEO on May 1, 2007. Don brought to his new job the incredible energy, warmth and optimism for which he is now so well known. A people-centred leader, Don believes passionately in the importance of relationships; he believes that through strong relationships the impossible can become reality.
During his first year at the College, Don focused on establishing relationships with College employees and staff associations, the Board of Governors, the Government of Alberta, the community, and his post-secondary colleagues. Don has a gift for change management; the College’s “Mission, Vision and Values” were created by a large team led by Don. They are now embraced by the whole College community. Through Don’s hard work and enthusiastic personality GPRC became known as “easy to work with,” and “a truly committed member of our community” – whether that was the community of Grande Prairie, Fairview, or the community of Alberta post-secondary institutions. He has served the Alberta post-secondary system as Chair of the eCampus board and as a member of the Board of Directors of Colleges and Institutes Canada. Don has given back to his community both through his service on Rotary, as an Honourary Chair of the Grande Prairie and Region United Way from 2010-2012, and has been recently appointed to the Grande Prairie Airport Commission.
Leading the creation of a learner-centred institution that strives first and foremost to serve the student has been of primary importance to Don; he frequently asks of decisions and initiatives: “How does this serve the student?” In 2010 GPRC was awarded “Employer of the Year” by the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and in 2015 Don Gnatiuk himself was awarded “Business Citizen of the Year.” In his typical fashion, Don was both surprised and abashed. These awards are recognition of Don’s commitment to working with the communities the College serves to ensure GPRC provides the learning opportunities required by citizens and the future employees required by area businesses.
DDon is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D); his leadership and governance acumen are in high demand and he has participated in leadership programs and events for a variety of organizations including the City of Grande Prairie, Community Foundation, and Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs. Don is held in high esteem by his fellow presidents, as evidenced by the role he held as Chair of the Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes of Alberta Council of Presidents. During his tenure as Chair, the Council of Presidents transformed from a group of Comprehensive Community institution presidents to include all of the presidents of post-secondary institutions in the province – an incredible feat of collaboration! Don continues to lead GPRC on its journey “per gradus ad maius” – “steps to the greater!”
Mary Ann Eckstrom
First Term - Appointed until July 2020
Ms. Mary Ann Eckstrom is a retired municipal councillor for the County of Grande Prairie where she served for 18 years. During her time as a county councillor, she was appointed as chair of the local Family and Community Support Services Board and also sat on the Community Foundation Board, the Affordable Housing Task Force and the Grande Prairie and Area Council on Aging Seniors Outreach.
Ms. Eckstrom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta. She is a piano teacher and passionate volunteer who currently resides in Sexsmith.
Connie completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Alberta in 2000. Her recent academic research interests have been concentrated on scientific literacy, specifically how readers' analyses of media reports of scientific findings affect personal decision making. Since arriving in Grande Prairie in 2001, she has also engaged in numerous community-driven studies designed to facilitate evidence-based best practice. Over her academic career, Connie has received several teaching and research awards, most recently from the Canada Council on Learning and from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. As the principal investigator of the GP-Police and Crisis Team project, she is grateful for the support provided by the research partners and is optimistic that the research findings will have a significant positive impact on services provided to those who experience mental health crises. She is also excited about the number of research opportunities that the GP-PACT project will afford to GPRC students.
Connie is a long-standing member of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Grande Prairie, volunteers for Odyssey House, and has served on a number of boards, currently for PACE and the Suicide Prevention and Resource Centre. She has a black belt in Shotokan Karate and hopes to continue training to a second-degree level. During her free time, Connie travels extensively; she hopes to visit every country on her bucket list before she retires.
First Term - Appointed until December 12, 2019
Jane Manning fell in love with the Peace Region when she transferred here in the early 80's. It turned out that career advancement provided other opportunities, as she also fell in love with a widowed homesteader from Silver Valley. They married, and Jane embraced a new way of life with Don Seekins, his farm, and four kids.
Jane holds her Nursing degree from the University of Manitoba, and her Masters of Science, focusing on Community Health and Administration, from the University of Portland. During her studies in the US, her appreciation for the Canadian health care system only grew.
Jane Manning's 40-year career in health care crosses the spectrum from nursing in a 30-bed hospital in an Indigenous community north of Winnipeg, to directing Public Health Nursing for the Grande Prairie Health Unit, then implementing its transition into regionalized Health Services in Alberta. In Senior Management, Jane's portfolio included Continuing Care (including Home Care), Regional Health Services, Rehabilitation Services, and even Property Management.
Now retired, Jane Manning holds an Associate Membership in CARNA, the College and Association of Registered Nurses in Alberta. Retirement simply means not being tied to the office. She continues to serve our community, especially the interests of the more vulnerable among us. Jane is a board member of the Wapiti Community Dorm Society, which operates Rotary House Emergency Shelter in Grande Prairie. She brought the voice of rural and northern regions to the provincial Interagency Council on Homelessness. Jane was on the Seniors’ Advisory Council of Alberta. She brings that same expertise, compassion, and skill in communicating client's feedback to the Patient and Family Advisory Committee with Alberta Health Services. On the Strategic Clinical Network for Population Health, she's helping to form future policy and program development in our health care system. Close to home, Jane is a board member of the United Way Alberta Northwest and a charter member of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie Sunrise.
Their children are grown but Jane and Don remain connected. With the extending families spread from Toronto to Vancouver Island Jane embraces a new life of travel, technology, and enjoying her eight grandchildren... with a few rounds of golf thrown in for good measure.
First Term - Appointed until November 2020
Pattie is originally from southern Ontario but has called Alberta home for the past 27 years. Though having lived in Grande Prairie, Pattie has called Jasper home for some time.
Pattie is involved in various committees and organizations, and for the past 9 years, she has served as Executive Director of the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce. Pattie is also a member of the Jasper Park Initiative, a group of individuals comprised of representatives from the Municipality of Jasper, Parks Canada, Jasper Hotel Association and major attractions whose sole purpose is to foster community, making Jasper an amazing place to live, work, play and learn.
Holding a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor Education Degree (elementary), Pattie is a strong advocate for education, working to ensure school is enriching, available and affordable to everyone.
As the Public Member of the (GPRC)’s Board of Governors in the west-central area of the province, Pattie is proud and honoured to serve. Most importantly, Pattie is looking forward to creating strong ties between Grande Prairie Regional College and residents, moving toward learning opportunities for all.
First Term - Appointed until June 30, 2019
Gordon Pellerin was born in Grande Prairie and raised, along with five siblings, nearby on a farm at Five Mile Creek. While attending school at Harry Balfour, Gordon observed the rise of the GPRC Cardinal Building from out of the earth and across the reservoir. Fascinated by the curvilinear architecture, he became determined to explore this building and to attend GPRC, from which he completed two years of pre-med and science in university transfer studies in 1983.
Upon graduating from the University of Alberta in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree, honours in Zoology, Gordon had the opportunity to return to Grande Prairie to take a term-certain contract with GPRC as a science laboratory technician. This nine-month contract has turned into 34 years with GPRC.
Gordon has taken various positions at GPRC, including a faculty position in Academic Upgrading to teach biology, chemistry and physics, to Academic Advisor and Liaison in Student Services, and currently Associate Registrar of Admission.
During his years at GPRC, Gordon has served on a number of committees, including Academic Council and Curriculum Committee. In 2005, Gordon was awarded the peer-nominated Dean Stetson Service to Students Award. Currently, Gordon is co-chair of the Provincial Planning Committee for the Alberta Services for Students Conference.
His involvement in social and community development has been with HIV North Society of which he was a co-founder 32 years ago and served as president and chair of the board of directors for several years. Gordon also serves on the boards of the Alberta Science Network, Five Mile Community Agricultural Society, and Grande Prairie Environmental Science Education Society.
Along with Celestin, his life partner of 26 years, Gordon resides in a beautiful heritage home in one of the oldest areas of Grande Prairie. His roots run deep here as his great-grandfather homesteaded over 100 years ago at Five Mile Creek. Gordon has a passion for education and a vital connection to the GPRC Cardinal building and has been unofficially designated as the GPRC tour guide.
First Term - Appointed until November 2020
Lorne Radbourne is a born and raised Grande Prairian who chose to stay in the city and marry, raise his family and pursue his work career goals. He is proud of Grande Prairie and the Peace Region and our potential as a growing, vibrant and resourceful community.
Following high school, Lorne enrolled at Grande Prairie Regional College with the goal of becoming a teacher. At that time GPRC was a one-year learning institution, so he completed his Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta. He also completed his Diploma and Masters of Educational Administration at the UofA a number of years later.
Lorne spent his entire 35-year career as an educator with the Grande Prairie Public School District, in various roles including teacher, school administrator and district administrator. Lorne served as Superintendent of Schools for the GPPSD for 11 years, and is described as an effective and accomplished educator and leader.
Following his retirement as an educator, Lorne moved on to his second career as a dedicated and influential Grande Prairie City Councillor. He was very popular during the three terms he served on Council, noted especially for asking the right questions, understanding community issues, listening with an open mind, building relationships, doing his homework, and being fiscally responsible.
Lorne’s service to community extends to his current volunteer involvements as a member of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie, Board member of the GPPSD Education Foundation, Board member of the Hockey Alberta Foundation and as a Trustee of St. Paul’s United Church.
Lorne is both excited and pleased to continue his service to community as a public member of the GPRC Board of Governors.
Amy Speedtsberg was born and raised in the Grande Prairie area. She graduated from Sexsmith Secondary School in 2007 and went on to further her studies at GPRC in the fall of 2016. She is currently in the second year of her accounting degree and plans to graduate from GPRC with a degree in 2022. She is a dedicated mother to her 9-year-old daughter and intends to show her daughter that it’s possible to achieve your goals, even if it’s not easy.
Please address all correspondence for any member of our Board of Governors to: